Tag:Central Michigan
Posted on: November 30, 2009 4:54 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2009 12:58 pm

CBSSports.com 120 -- Solich guiding Ohio

Frank Solich has done it again.

For the second time in four seasons, Solich has guided Ohio to the MAC Championship game. Pretty good for a program that hasn't seen much success since joining Division I-A in 1983.

Not only that, Ohio jumped to No. 40 in the latest CBSSports.com 120 rankings. It will take on Central Michigan for the conference title on Dec. 4.

The season didn't start out strong for the Bobcats. After falling short in a 23-16 loss to Connecticut, it needed overtime to beat one of the worst teams in the nation, getting past North Texas 31-30.

But the Bobcats have won seven of their last eight and clinched the East Division with a win over Temple on Saturday.

"I think the early part of the season was telling for us," said Solich. "We didn't get off to a great start against Connecticut -- they are a very good football team -- but we hung in there and then the next week on the road at North Texas, with bad weather, we found a way to win that football game right at the very end. I think our team felt all along that we had the capability of being a very good football team and capability of winning football games, but it started to generate some action there (at North Texas) and I think I started to truly believe."

The victory was the 28th win for the Bobcats' senior class, which is the school's winningest since 1963, when that group won 29 games from 1960-63.

"I'm as proud of these guys as I've ever been of any team that I've been associated with," added Solich after the Temple game. "You look back and there have been a lot of great games. This one is as good as it gets. This team has been truly amazing as to how they kept battling back in games throughout the course of the entire season."

Two players that have been key to Ohio's success is the wide receiver tandem of Taylor Price and LaVon Brazill. Price has 51 catches for 733 yards and Brazill has 49 catches for 670 yards. The duo has combined for 11 touchdowns.

Two guys on defense are ranked in the top 15 of the nation in their perspective categories. Linebacker Noah Keller is 14th in the nation with 122 tackles, while freshman defensive back Gerald Moore has six interceptions (8th in the NCAA).

Now it all comes down to the game against Central Michigan, which is ranked No. 25 in the CBSSports.com 120.

"Central has been there the past couple years and has gotten a lot of national exposure. We want to get our program going that direction, and we feel like we've got the talent here," said linebacker Lee Renfro. "It's going to be another hard game, but if we keep getting better every week, I like our odds."

Matchups of other conference title games:

ACC: No. 11 Georgia Tech vs. 27 Clemson

Big 12: No. 2 Texas vs. No. 19 Nebraska

Conference USA: No. 21 Houston vs. No. 52 East Carolina

SEC: No. 1 Florida vs. No. 3 Alabama


... Eastern Michigan finished the season at 0-12 and is ranked No. 119. Western Kentucky is No. 120 at 0-11, but has one game remaining against Arkansas State.

... Hawaii has quietly moved up to No. 75 and is eyeing a bowl bid. If the Warriors beat Wisconsin on Saturday, they would be headed to play in the Hawaii Bowl, mostly likely against SMU. The Mustangs are coached by former Hawaii coach June Jones.

... The lowest-ranked team with a winning record is Northern Illinois at No. 68. Despite being 7-5, the Huskies have the 119th ranked schedule. The highest-ranked team with a losing record is Mississippi State at 5-7. The Bulldogs have not only played a tough SEC schedule, but lost to Houston (10-2) and beat Middle Tennessee State (9-3).

Posted on: November 17, 2008 1:02 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2008 1:05 pm

CBSSports.com 120 -- QB trio leading the MAC

Don't look now, but here comes two more teams from the MAC moving up the charts.

While Ball State holds steady at No. 15 in the latest CBSSports.com 120, two teams from Michigan are starting to make some waves.

Central Michigan (8-2) moved up to No. 34 this week, while Western Michigan (9-2) checks in at No. 35. Add in Ball State's 10-0 record and that's three teams in the same division with a combined record of 27-4.

All three teams are living up to the conference of great quarterbacks joining the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich, Chad Pennington, Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye.

Ball State's Nate Davis (8th), Western Michigan's Tim Hiller (15th) and Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan (24th) are all ranked in the top 25 of the NCAA's passing efficiency. Only the Big 12 (eight) and Conference USA (four) have more players from one conference ranked in the Top 25.

Davis has thrown for 2,647 yards and 20 touchdowns, including four touchdowns in the victory over Northern Illinois. Of all the quarterbacks in the conference, Davis has the most potential at the NFL level.

According to a column on yahoo.com, two scouts said should he choose to turn pro, Davis likely would be the third-best quarterback prospect in this year’s NFL draft.

"[Georgia’s] Matt Stafford would be No. 1 and [Florida’s] Tim Tebow would be No. 2 if he decides to come out," one scout said. "But (Davis) isn't that far behind. He's got the size, he's got the strength and, most of all, he can make every single throw."

While Davis might have the best NFL career, Western Michigan might have the most impressive story. After throwing 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last year, Hiller has improved on his numbers with 33 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

In Western 23-17 victory over Illinois two weeks ago, Hiller threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns. In the season-opening loss to Nebraska, Hiller still played great, throwing for 342 yards and two touchdowns.

"We have the right game plans, we have the right people who are able to execute, we've got a ton of skill-position guys who are great, and we have an offensive line that's very cohesive," Western Michigan offensive lineman Phillip Swanson said. "And if you give Tim Hiller a chance to throw the ball anywhere, we've got a chance to beat anybody in the country." 

Meanwhile over at Central Michigan, LeFevour is doing it with his arm and his legs. Despite missing two games with an injury, he has thrown for 13 touchdowns and ran for five more. He now has 2,093 yards rushing in three seasons to go along with 8,501 yards passing.

Things get as crucial as they can get in the MAC as Ball State's quest for a perfect season is about to get alot tougher. The Cardinals will both Central Michigan (Nov. 19) and Western Michigan (Nov. 25) the next two weeks to determine who is the true king of the conference.


... The crazy ACC. The conference has the most teams ranked in the Top 40 with seven. The Big 12 has six, while the SEC and Big Ten each have five. Here are the seven ACC teams -- Maryland (No. 20), North Carolina (No. 25), Georgia Tech (No. 26), Boston College (No. 27), Florida State (No. 28), Miami (No. 29), Virginia Tech (No. 36)

... Houston made a big jump this week after beating Tulsa. The Cougars moved from No. 65 to No. 50. Despite the win, Houston is still only 6-4 overall.

... South Florida took a big tumble, falling from No. 38 to No. 53 after losing to Rutgers. Even though the Bulls are 6-4 overall, they are just 1-4 in the Big East.

... In one of the biggest games between losers is this weekend, featuring No. 110 Washington State (1-10) vs. No. 112 Washington (0-10).

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com